Tagged art journaling

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Tales From The Creative Nomad Retreat

Whew!  I’m back from hosting my first art retreat – The Creative Nomad Art Journaling Adventure!

It’s been so long since I last posted here – but now you’ll know why. I’ve been WAY busy prepping for the retreat.  All my “free time” has been devoted to it.

And what an incredible ride it’s been!

The retreat was for four days with colorful, friendly and creative people in one incredible location.  

What?  THIS is my job?  I’m one lucky girl!  Dreams do come true.

Artist (and fellow art journaler) Sabrina Ward Harrison once famously wrote “Don’t take a job, make a job.”  I took that advice to heart and I’m so so glad I did.

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Our “studio” was at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs.

Nearly everyone stayed at the hotel as well.  So yeah, we kind of took over.

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So here’s the “calm before the storm” – a clean workspace laid with goodies.

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But before long, it looked like this.  Creative chaos.  Yum.

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To stretch our legs and breathe in the warm desert breezes, we had a large balcony all to ourselves.  An extra 1000 square feet overlooking the Ace’s main pool.  Magical.

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We had two guides for our “art journaling adventure”.  They each led a two day workshop.

First up was the (adorable) gifted teacher Brian Kasstle.

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And the (uber-badass) talented guide Roxanne Coble.

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These two were soooooo passionate and generous.

I loved that their workshops were so different yet played so well with one another.

(I definitely did a GREAT job recruiting them if I do say so myself!  Uh huh.)

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As for the attendees…..wow!

It was incredible to finally meet some long time “online friends” and several of my creative “she-roes”.  You may recognize a few from the art journaling world.

The crowd also included a hand full of first time art journalers.  This thing could catch on ya know!  LOL.

Just look at the beauties that gathered.

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Above is my mom (life long painter/never before art journaler) Caroline Bell, my bestie Deby Scatchell (our retreat assistant/art journaling virgin) and yeah, happy me!  

Somehow, I found time to art journal while hosting the retreat!  Ah the power of pre-planning and great assistance!

(But the works in progress below ain’t mine….)

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above art journal spread in progress by Dawn DeVries Sokol

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above art journal spread in progress is by Carrie Todd

Below is a collaborative piece in progress . . . we all put something into this one!

I won’t tell you what we did with it after!  What happens in Palm Springs stays in Palm Springs.

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So here’s the class picture from Brian’s class called “Totem”.

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And here’s Roxanne’s class pic – her class was called “Adaptations”.

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We’re one happy bunch of creatives!  I loved loved loved every minute.

And while I’m still lingering in the afterglow, my heart is already dreaming of what will come next.

I’ll be sure to let you know – the ideas are a’swirling!

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Creative Living With Jamie – Her Chat With Me!

Recently, I had the pleasure of being featured on Jamie Ridler’s podcast.  In it we talk about everything from my relatively recent journey to discovering I was an artist, to the various types of journals I keep, to making time and space for your own artistic adventures!

I hope you’ll take a listen.

The interview is right here!

I hope you’ll find it useful and inspiring for your own creative life – do let me your thoughts!

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Scenes From The Road

Over the past week,

we’ve roamed the Southwest US . . .

from Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico

to Monument Valley, Utah

through Flagstaff, Arizona and the deserts of California.

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I’ve spent a few days circling with friends, old and new,

rediscovering my sense of “play”.

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I’ve over-indulged my photographic

obsession with doorways and windows.

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And seen more stars in the night sky

than I EVER knew existed!

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Even piles of rubble are made beautiful

in the hands of local southwestern artists.

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My “well of inspiration” is running over . . . 

I may burst!

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I’ve seen such diverse beauty.

Sacred and profound and quiet and simple.

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I’ve hardly had time to “process” or capture my thoughts,

but I may not stop painting or writing for months

– okay, maybe NEVER!

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The “big sky” country is incredibly gorgeous.

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The hues – so deep and rich.

The architecture and decor – so magical.

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Even the food is color-full and spicy-delish!

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Icons are everywhere – appearing in art and on buildings.

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Around every bend, more beauty, more embellishment.

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Overhead – underfoot.

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Textures, both velvety and rough.

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A single art journal spread

is all that I’ve worked on during my trip,

as I focused on gathering inspiration and beauty.

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Here’s the same page AFTER 20 fellow retreat 

goers added their mark to the page!

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I’m aching to get back in the studio!

So that’s happening NOW!

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White Space

At least once a month, I head east on crowded freeways towards our second home, Palm Springs.  After an hour or two of loud and harried, I reach my favorite exit – a long stretch of road in the shadow of the towering Mount San Jacinto.  It’s flanked by a wide expanse of blinding white sand and craggy mountains.

It’s here, I breathe deeper than I have in days.  The air is clear, the pace is slow, the stillness palpable.   In near reverence, I lower my window, quiet my tunes and let my hand roll in the warm breeze.  It’s my church.

My intense love for the desert southwest is as old as I am.  I figure it’s the closest I’ll ever live to the deserts of my Texas birthplace.

I’m here for over a week and it’s such a gift!  The temperature may soar to 117 degrees by this weekend, but that only means the desert is in it’s quiet annual hibernation.  So, I venture out at dawn for long coolish walks through town.

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The only people out so early in this town are sleepy dog walkers and casino shift workers.  But, I have spotted a familiar braided-Native-American-ranger bumping his truck onto a canyon road.  I so envy his turquoise bracelets!  He shows them off each time he waves my husband and I through to hiking trails during the cool months.

After my walk, a dip in the lukewarm pool is in order.  I float for awhile in the silky water, cloud gazing and day dreaming.  Before it’s too hot, I’ll run my errands.  The rest of the hours will be spent in much too cold air conditioning deep in page, paint and pen.  It’s a working retreat, you see.  I’m so fortunate to have my work feel like play nowadays.

The white space I’ve managed on my calendar is not likely to come again for a year, so I intend to make the most of this time.  How about you?  What are you doing in these last days of summer – are you finding some white space of your own?

 

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My Working Retreat

Today, and for the next 2 weeks I’m on a self-imposed “working” retreat.  Clearing the “white space” was not easy.  But the work to get here, was worth having done, because the work I WANT TO DO can now happen!  LOL.

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Now, it’s time to allow.  I will allow my normal routine and responsibilities to fall away.  I’ll surrender to the writing, art making, reading and studying I seriously desire.

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You see recently, I made a firm decision to begin hosting art retreats.  It’s a longing I’ve had for quite some time, but I struggled – finding a perfect location to lease and making it work financially was just not gelling.  Finally, I let go of the brick and mortar idea and decided to take it on the road.  Hence, Creative Nomad Retreat(s) was born!

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The first art retreat I’ll host is still months away, but there’s content I want to create for before and during the retreat, so that is a major part of what I’ll be doing during this time.  There’s also art making, a bit of blogging, personal journaling and catching up on an online class to do.  Dream time for other future art retreats is also on the to-do list!  All of this will be interspersed with early walking, swimming, good food and rest.

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I’m so happy, I almost can’t stand it!  There is much to be done, but this is the work I’d PAY to do!  It’s work I’ve CHOSEN for myself – work 54 years in the making.

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So I’m off to whistle while I work, my dears!  Catch up with you later.  AND if you’re interested in learning more about the first Creative Nomad Retreat, go here.  There’s one spot left!